Order “Tū” here: http://smarturl.it/Tu-AlienWeaponry
Video Production – Kwasnik Pictures & AW Noise Ltd
Director – Piotr Kwasnik
Cinematographer & Editor – Piotr Kwasnik
Camera Assist – Julia Wang
Actors – Rowan Jones & Rose Van Wylich
Music Production – Simon Gooding & Hammerhead at Roundhead Studios New Zealand
Mastered by Samuel K Sproull in Melbourne, Australia
While previous hits Rū Ana Te Whenua and Kai Tangata have related to historic battles and injustices faced by their ancestors, ‘Whispers’ raises much more recent incidences of conflict – the Foreshore and Seabed Act passed in 2004; and the Trans Pacific Partnership, signed in 2016.
“These are just a couple of examples of the government not respecting the voices of the people, especially Māori,” says guitarist and lead singer, Lewis de Jong. “Even though historic wrongs have supposedly been righted with compensation, when the same thing keeps happening it’s hard to believe there has really been a change.”
The spoken excerpt at the beginning of the song is part of a radio interview by well-known Radio New Zealand journalist Kim Hill with Don Brash, a former leader of two right wing political parties, and current spokesperson for a lobby group set up to advocate removal of so-called ‘special privileges’ for Māori.
“It’s kind of scary how many people share his views,” says drummer Henry de Jong. “They don’t seem to understand that the current policies are there to help redress the imbalance that was caused after over a hundred years of colonization. During that time, millions of acres of Māori land was stolen, they were excluded from voting and children were punished for speaking Māori in schools, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. That sort of thing can’t be fixed with compensation alone – it takes time and goodwill from both sides.”
The historic film footage in the background to the video features images of the Hikoi (March) against the Foreshore and Seabed Act, which put the foreshore and seabed around the coastline of New Zealand into government ownership, even though it had never been gifted, sold by or confiscated from its traditional Māori owners. Henry and Lewis (then aged 4 and 2 respectively) were among the 40,000 people who marched on parliament to oppose the legislation.
Also featured in the song and video are Labour MP Tariana Turia, who crossed the floor to vote against her own party on the bill; and well known Tuhoe activist Tame Iti, who was famously charged with treason for shooting the New Zealand flag.